Turkey nixes Israeli involvement in NATO summit: report
JERUSALEM — Turkey has blocked the participation of Israel in next month’s NATO summit in Chicago, a Turkish newspaper reported.
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu vetoed Israel’s participation during a NATO foreign ministers meeting last week in Brussels, the Hurriyet Daily News reported Monday.
“There will be no Israeli presence at the NATO meeting unless they issue a formal apology and pay compensation for the Turkish citizens their commandos killed in international waters,” a senior Turkish official told Hurriyet, referring to the deaths of nine Turkish activists during an Israeli naval commando raid on the Turkish ship the Mavi Marmara as it tried to break Israeli’s naval blockade of Gaza in May 2010.
“Those countries who wish to see normalization in ties between Turkey and Israel should advise Israel to apologize and to compensate the killing of Turks in international waters,” the official told the news service.
Israel – and other countries, including Egypt, Mauritania, Algeria, and Morocco – is a member of the Mediterranean Dialogue, a NATO outreach program.
It’s not the first time Turkey has vetoed Israeli attempts to participate more fully in NATO. It vetoed an Israeli request to open an office at NATO headquarters and vetoed its participation in some Mediterranean Dialogue group activities, according to Hurriyet.
“You are talking about being partners and partnership values. But partners, first of everything, should act like partners, so that we’ll treat them accordingly,” Davutoglu said during last week’s NATO meeting, according to Hurriyet.